Saturday, February 17, 2018

It's a dog's life

Today is the second day of the Lunar New Year. Some believe the second day is also the birthday of all dogs and remember them with special treats.

The God of Wealth presides over a vast bureaucracy with many minor deities under his authority. A majestic figure robed in exquisite silks often he is pictured riding a black tiger, a golden yuanbao (ancient ingot used for currency) is always close to him. Legend says that every Lunar New Year, Tsai Shen descends from heaven to inspect his followers.

People eat dumplings to honor the god because the dumplings were thought to resemble yuanbao. Tsai Shen leaves for heaven on the second day of the Lunar New Year to report on whom should have good fortune in the following year.

Traditionally, it’s the time for married women to visit their parents. In ancient times in China, women usually didn’t visit their parents’ places much once they got married. People nowadays can do that at any time, this custom, to visit birth parents on second day of the Lunar New Year celebrations, remains.

Today is also Random Acts of Kindness Day is the name of an unofficial holiday increasingly celebrated around the world by localities or organizations, or nationwide, in order to encourage acts of kindness.

All you need to do is something a simple as hold the door open for someone or say 'good morning' to the counter person giving you your morning cup of coffee.

Then immediately go back to your usually ornery self.

February 17, 1965 -
You are going to be a star.

Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson on NBC-TV on this date.

February 17, 1967 -
The Beatles released Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever on this date.

These songs were intended for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but Capitol Records decided to release the two songs as a single, partly to regain popularity from John Lennon's "The Beatles are bigger than Jesus" comment.

February 17, 1971 -
On this day, Boston native James Taylor made his primetime television debut on the Johnny Cash Show.

Other guest on the show that evening included Neil Young and Linda Ronstadt.

February 17, 1989
The cinematic masterpiece Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter opened in theaters on this date.

In the film, Bill and Ted claim that they need Edward Van Halen in their band to make it better. After the film was released, he jokingly said he would have joined their band if they had asked.

February 17, 1990
We are all not worthy - Aerosmith appeared on Saturday Night Live on this date.

They performed the Wayne's World theme song while appearing in the skit as themselves.

Don't forget to tune into The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today

Today in History:
February 17, 1600
Roman philosopher and mathematician Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake at Campo di Fiore in Rome, likely because of his advocating the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

His death at the hands of Roman Inquisition is thought to have convinced Galileo to recant his own theory of a moving Earth.  The people living around the Palatine Hills always expected the Roman Inquisition.

Celebrated French dramatist and comedian Moliere collapsed on stage and died on February 17, 1673. It is said that he was wearing green, and because of that, there is a superstition that green brings bad luck to actors. As an actor, he was not allowed by the laws of the time to be buried in the sacred ground of a cemetery.

His wife Armande asked the King Louis XIV to allow a "normal" funeral celebrated at night. The king agreed, and Moliere was buried in a part of the cemetery reserved for unbaptized infants. In some accounts of his death, it is said that over 800 people attended his "secret" funeral.

February 17, 1869

The dream that changed the world - Dmitri Mendeleev began creating what we now call The Periodic Table.

On the night of Feb. 16, 1869, it is said, Dmitri Mendeleev, Russian Chemist and owner of the wildest beard east of Vienna, had a dream in which he saw almost all of the 65 known elements arrayed in a grand table. The following morning, he set to work organizing the elements on blank cards. He carried on for three days and nights, continually arranging and rearranging the cards in various sequences until he noticed a pattern in the elements in order of increasing atomic mass; their properties were repeated. Because the properties repeated themselves regularly, or periodically, on his chart, the system became known as the periodic table.

A bomb exploded in the dining room of St. Petersburg's Winter Palace on February 17, 1880. Tsar Alexander II survived. Being late for supper, the Tsar was not harmed, although 67 other people were killed or wounded. The dining room floor was also heavily damaged.

While it is often said that promptness is the politeness of kings; sometimes being late can save you.

February 17, 1904 -
The original two-act version Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, premiered on this date.

It did not go so well, lasting just one performance. One critic refereed to the performance as a "diabetic opera, the result of an automobile accident." Puccini revised the opera, splitting the second act into two acts and making other changes. On May 28, 1904, the new version was performed in Brescia and was a huge success.

February 17, 1933 -
The first issue of the weekly news magazine, Newsweek, was published on this date.

The issue, all 32 pages of it, could be purchased for a dime, but you could get it discounted for a year's subscription at $4.

February 17, 1994 -
The decomposing corpse of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, first president of the Republic of Georgia, was exhumed from a temporary grave in Djikhaskari on this date. His wife refused an autopsy, but western journalists noted a bullet wound in the side of Zviad's head. Officially listed as suicide, the wife also claims he was murdered. Another government minister oddly states the death was by cancer with the head shot administered post-mortem.

Note to self: don't seek cancer treatment in the Republic of Georgia or the state of Georgia, for that matter.

Avoid getting cancer, if at all possible.

And so it goes.


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